Friday, 3 August 2012

Greenland - Outward Journey - 11th-14th July 2012

On the 11th July 2012, five members of the North West Sea Kayakers (Jim, Kirstine, Chris, Stephanie and myself) left Manchester to fly to Reykjavik to start a near three week trip that would take us to the east coast of Greenland.

We stayed in Reykjavik for two nights, camping at the city hostel, meeting the rest of the team on the last night - our Greenland guide, Martin Rickard from and Dave and Jules from Shetland.

We spent our time in Reykjavik sight-seeing and enjoying the thermal pool adjacent to the campsite. Reykjavik and Iceland seemed very pleasant and I'd like to return for a longer visit with the family.

Reykjavik from the cathedral tower
On the friday, after a short delay waiting for fog to lift in Greenland, we boarded out flight to Kulusuk and we were on our way. As we approached Greenland we could see sea ice and massive ice bergs followed by the dramatic fjords and mountains that make up the east coast of Greenland.

Our planned transfer to Tasiilaq via boat was somewhat delayed - Martin and Lars the boat owner had got their wires crossed over dates, so we nearly had to camp at the airport and wait an extra day! - but luckily Martin managed to track Lars down in Tasiilaq and he came out to pick us up.

Waiting for the boat transfer to Tasiilaq
The boat trip was pretty spectacular - our first close up view of ice bergs, plus a number of whale sightings.

The campsite in Tasiilaq is nicknamed "Vietnam" by Martin due to the campsite's proximity to the village helicopter pad and rubbish tip!

Tasiilaq campsite
We had a chance to explore the village and stock up on provisions for our trip. Apart from drinking water, we were essentially self sufficient with food for up to 12 days away from the Tasiilaq base.

Jim is a sponsored P&H paddler, so he was keen to be seen and paddle a P&H boat, so he had arranged a deal for Martin to buy and ship out a P&H Scorpio for him to paddle. Only problem was that because of our late arrival on friday we missed the chance to get the boat out of the harbour warehouse and we could have had to wait till monday to get it. Luckily, Martin pulled a few strings and the harbour master managed to get us into the warehouse saturday morning to collect it. Inside the boat just happened to be two weeks supply of Clif bars for all of us, plus a wine box! - so it would have been a shame to leave on the trip without it.

The Harbour Master's kids try the Scorpio out
We completed our packing of the boats late saturday afternoon, and we decided to head off that evening on our journey.

Under way at last!

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